telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, cannot see Operations: Contigency
The telescope's resolution is equivalent to being able to read the text of a newspaper from half a mile away. This is equivalent to the ability to read a newspaper at a distance of half a mile. These electrons are accelerated down the tube by a high voltage, releasing more electrons as they bounce off the sides of the tube. After the telescope was calibrated, it was flown to TRW (now NGST) in Redondo Beach, California.
It is the instrument of choice for studying temperature variations across X-ray sources such as vast clouds of hot gas in intergalactic space, or chemical variations across clouds left by supernova explosions. The Chandra Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) is one of two focal plane instruments. Ten CCD chips in 2 arrays provide imaging and field-of-view 31x31 arc0min; time resolution: 16
With this information astronomers can construct a finely detailed map of a cosmic X-ray source. Control: Pointing If the State of Colorado were as smooth as the surface of the Chandra X-ray Observatory mirrors, Pikes Peak would be less than an inch tall. Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best When used with the Chandra mirrors, the (HRC) can make images that reveal detail as small as one-half an arc second. destiny of the universe. spectral resolution of 40-2000 over the energy range In order to distinguish between them, the two types of gratings are oriented at slightly different angles, so that the X-rays are diffracted in an "X" pattern at the focal plane. Two additional science instruments provide detailed information about the X-ray energy, the LETG and HETG spectrometers. energy range 0.2 - 10 keV; Uses large field-of-view mircro-channel plates to make Chandra uses four pairs of nested mirrors, together with their support structure, called the High Resolution Mirror Assembly (HRMA); the mirror substrate is 2 c… As the name suggests, this instrument is an array of charged coupled devices (CCD's), which are sophisticated versions of the crude CCD's used in camcorders. They are the smoothest and cleanest mirrors ever made. Resolution: Altitude recording capability, 4 nested pairs of grazing incidence paraboloid and The science instruments are controlled by commands transmitted from the Operations Control Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and The tubes have a special coating that causes electrons to be released when the tubes are struck by X-rays. These events give off X-rays, which are a highly energized form of light that cannot be seen by human eyes. spectral resolution of 60-1000 over energy range 0.4 -
In order to provide motion to the observatory, Chandra has two different sets of thrusters: one for propulsion and the other for momentum unloading. The primary components of the (HRC) are two Micro-Channel Plates (MCP).
600 A iridium coating. Then they were coated with the highly reflective rare metal, iridium. Chandra, which was launched by the As the CD is tilted through different angles, different colors come into view.). The tests, which were completed in May of 1997, showed that Chandra could produce X-ray images 25 times sharper than previous X-ray telescopes. X-ray photonswould be absorbed by normal mirror surfaces, so mirrors with a low grazing angle are necessary to reflect them. Mode: High Resolution The focal plane instruments are mounted on the Science Instrument Module (SIM). Camera (HRC): High Energy arrays deployed): Argument of
Chandra is the third of NASA's Great Observatories. The data is then transmitted to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and then to Operations Control at the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) in Cambridge, MA for processing and analysis by scientists. The (HRC) is especially useful for imaging hot matter in remnants of exploded stars, and in distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and for identifying very faint sources. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is currently in orbit around Earth, peering out into the universe in search of extremely high-temperature events in space. X-ray telescopes must be very different from optical telescopes. The unique capabilities of the (HRC) stem from the close match of its imaging capability to the focusing power of the mirrors.
When used with the Chandra mirrors, the (HRC)can make images that reveal detail as small as one-half an arc second. In November of 1996, the telescope system was put aboard a C5 military transport aircraft, flown to Huntsville, Alabama, and delivered to the Marshall Space Flight Center. the hot regions of the universe. The gratings are mounted onto a toroidal ring structure matched to the Chandra mirrors. The LETG grating is a freestanding gold grating made of fine wires or bars with a regular spacing, or period , of 1µm. The mirrors were moved again across the country--same moving van, same husband/wife driving team and three support vehicles--to Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, where they were assembled into a support structure called the high resolution mirror assembly and aligned with exquisite precision. Since the size of the gold grating bars is smaller that a wavelength of visible light, special fabrication techniques are required to make them. Each spectrometer is activated by swinging an assembly into position behind the mirrors. Accuracy: Advanced
The assembly holds hundreds of gold transmission gratings: when in place behind the mirrors, the gratings intercept the X-rays reflected from the mirrors. Finally, in 1999 the whole observatory was flown to Cape Canaveral and placed on the space shuttle for its last ride, into space. @1 keV; By the time they leave the end of the tube, they have created a cloud of thirty million electrons. The SIM contains mechanisms to move the science instruments in and out of the focal plane, insulation for thermal control, and electronics to control the operation of the science instruments via the communication, command and data management systems of the spacecraft. Thus they look more like glass barrels than the familiar dish shape of optical telescopes. X-ray images: ang. They each consist of a 10-cm (4-inch) square cluster of 69 million tiny lead-oxide glass tubes that are about 10 micrometers in diameter (1/8 the thickness of a human hair) and 1.2 millimeters (1/20 an inch) long. The spacecraft system provides the support structure and environment necessary for the telescope and the science instruments to work as an observatory. The propulsion thrusters were used immediately after launch to help propel Chandra into its final orbit, which is elliptical and very high in altitude. The Chandra telescope system consists of four pairs of mirrors and their support structure. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed.
X-ray telescopes allow us to image matter Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Thus scientists can make pictures of objects using only X-rays produced by a single chemical element, and so compare (for example) the appearance of a supernova remnant in light produced by oxygen ions to that of neon or iron ions.
There the telescope system and the scientific instruments were put through thousands of individual tests in an X-ray calibration facility especially constructed for this purpose by the Chandra support team at Marshall Space Flight Center. A crossed grid of wires detects this electronic signal and allows the position of the original X-ray to be determined with high precision. The successful grinding, polishing and coating of the Chandra mirrors were historic technical accomplishments.
These gratings diffract the intercepted X-rays, changing their direction by amounts that depend sensitively on the X-ray energy, much like a prism separates light into its component colors. Transmission Grating (HETG): Low Energy cm. The High Resolution Camera (HRC) is one of two instruments used at the focus of Chandra, where it detects X-rays reflected from an assembly of eight mirrors.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
hyperboloid mirrors, 6 reaction wheel control 2 inertial reference units, 0.25 arcsec (RMS) radius over 95% of all 10 second The Chandra X-Ray Observatory combines the mirrors with four science instruments to capture and probe the X-rays from astronomical sources. (A grating is able to diffract because it has a regularly spaced pattern. This enables the temperature, ionization and chemical composition to be explored. Not to be outdone, the scientists and engineers at Optical Coating Laboratories, Inc., in Santa Rosa, California also surpassed expectations. The mirrors have to be exquisitely shaped and aligned nearly parallel to incoming X-rays. micro-sec, To be inserted into focused X-ray beam; provides mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and After the mirrors were carefully moved to California via an air-ride moving van, they were painstakingly cleaned--to the equivalent of at most one speck of dust on an area the size of your computer screen. The gratings take advantage of the fact that the gold bars are partially transparent to X-rays, so that the diffraction is more efficient, and more X-rays are captured in the high resolution spectrum. A preplanned sequence of observations is uplinked to Chandra and stored in the onboard computer for later execution.
This is equivalent to the ability to read a newspaper at a distance of half a mile. bubble produced by an exploding star. The LETG gratings are designed to cover an energy range of 0.08 to 2 keV. amp-hour nickel hydrogen batteries, two low-gain, conical log spiral antennas, solid state recorder; 1.8 gigabits (16.8 hours) The most powerful optical
These are grating arrays which can be flipped into the path of the X-rays just behind the mirrors, where they redirect ( diffract ) the X-rays according to their energy. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA Phone: 617.496.7941 Fax: 617.495.7356 Stability: Pointing The X-ray position is measured by HRC or ACIS, so that the exact energy can be determined. resolution < 0.5 arcsec over However, their diffraction can also be seen in visible light, which is beautifully shown in the picture above right. swirling as close as 90 kilometers from the event horizon of
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